ALA Midwinter 2017

Sunday STEAM Learning #alamw17 

I attended two different STEAM related sessions today and learned a ton!  First I went to the Ignite Sessions. 6 different speakers each spoke for 5 minutes a piece with timed slides to keep them on schedule. I am so amazed people can make such strong points in 5 minutes, incredible!  Angiah Davis, a librarian with the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, spoke on “Engaging Youth With Steam”. My biggest takeaway from this talk was simple, but powerful. When working on STEAM programming Angiah advised reaching out to community partners. She has partnered with Home Depot to offer a kids building event, a harpist to offer harp lessons (every kid got a harp and learned a song) and had an African dance group teach dance. She recommended both Bill Nye and Science Bob’s websites for a plethora of other ideas too.  Author/Illustrator Brian Yanish also spoke during the Ignite Sessions about…

ALA Midwinter 2017

#alamw17 The Creative Edge

My first afternoon session today was run by two people from Avon Public Library in Connecticut, “The Creative Edge: How One Small Library Is Leading the Way in Creative Arts Programming.” Mary Fletcher’s official title is Creativity Specialist.  She has been in charge of a program where they have brought the arts into the library. Arts are not crafts.  Art is an open-ended process.  Art has no planned product.  Art is open-ended.  Art has no adult sample to copy.  Art can be spontaneous. A pre-planned craft can discourage creative choices. The presenters showed us many pictures from their Open Art Studio.  I liked the image of a wall covered with buildings made of paper.  No two buildings are exactly alike.  Together, they form a wonderfully diverse town. I was writing furiously.  I’ll include some good nuggets below: Art is guided by the child’s choices. When children are fascinated, they make…

Guest Blogger

STEAM-ing on Saturdays

Recently, I’ve been trying to work new programming into my repertoire here at my branch. Afterschool programming isn’t always an option, so I looked to Saturdays. I work every other Saturday at my branch, and find for some reason, kids seem to be more inclined to participate in a program on Saturdays. Usually during the week, I have to encourage kids away from the computers with snacks – on Saturdays, the same kids are the first through the door. I think it has something to do with the fact that they don’t have the stress of school that day, but I’m not sure.

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

2016 Trends: Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Each year, technology continues to change and evolve. In 2016, with only a few weeks left in the year, it is a good time to look back on two technology trends that impacted library services. This is especially timely since many of us will soon have to submit our annual reports to our library boards and with that, a look at the trends of the year.

Guest Blogger

National Summer Learning Association Conference: Dare to Disrupt!

It’s been a jam-packed ride so far at the National Conference on Afterschool and Summer Learning, taking place right now from October 24-26, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. A joint venture of the National Summer Learning Association and School’s Out Washington, it’s the stuff that FOMO dreams are made of with just 1.5 days and over 60 workshops about summer learning — and that doesn’t even include the general sessions and exhibits! This sold-out event brings together 1,000 teachers, afterschool providers, policymakers, consultants, vendors, and of course, librarians.

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Teach Me Something Fun: Media Mentorship and Online Learning

“Libraries are about access, and we need to step up to provide ALL TYPES OF ACCESS.” –Amy Koester, ALSC Blog, Our Future Includes EBooks #alamw13, January 24, 2013 Online learning is a topic that deserves more focus.  Normally, in my conversations about electronic resources, the attention is mainly on ebooks or databases. Libraries, as informal and self directed centers of learning, have been concentrating more on online learning, and it is obvious we need to remember children in this movement as well. Yet when I did a quick and informal survey of library websites, I see much work and time has been spent by libraries on evaluating and recommending online learning sites, and some libraries have even created their own. Through media mentorship, we can draw both our young patrons and their caregivers to the many online learning products, free and paid for, that we subscribe to, find, evaluate, and…